Qatar Airways chief executive believes Boeing could reduce the delays to the 787 programme, and could add a second production line to get deliveries back on track.
“Our delay is nearly 22 months, but Boeing is doing its best to improve this,” he says. “They know there will be large compensation for all airlines, and I have confidence that Boeing will shrink this delay considerably by either getting the supply chain more streamlined or putting in a second production line,” he said.
The suggestion of another 787 line has not come from Boeing itself, he says. “The indications have come from my advisors who say they will have no other alternative to resolve the delays.”
Qatar Airways has 30 787s on order and holds another 35 options for the type. It was originally due to receive its first 787 in mid-2010, but the latest schedule from Boeing sees it taking 787s from early 2012, he says.
Al Baker says he is never happy with any delay to an aircraft delivery. “We have a plan and we want to stick to our plan. At the end of the day I have to show to my owners, the state of Qatar, I am spot on my business plan or exceeding my business plan.”
Al Baker says Qatar Airways still has an interest in a Bombardier CSeries-sized aircraft with 130-140 seats to provide higher frequencies on very thin routes.